vicente morales

Batman/Superman Annual #2 - “Siege” (2015)
pencil by Tom Derenick, Tyler Kirkham, Ian Churchill, Ardian Syaf, Emanuela Luppacchino
ink by Vicente Cifuentes, Tyler Kirkham, Mark Morales, Jaime Mendoza, & Ray McCarthy
color by Arif Prianto, Fahiza Kamapurtra, Jessica Kholinne, & Gloria Caeli
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Batman/Superman Annual #2 - “Siege” (2015)

written by Greg Pack
art by Tom Derenick, Tyler Kirkham, Ian Churchill, Ardian Syaf, Emanuela Lupacchino, Vicente Cifuentes, Mark Morales, Jaime Mendoza, Ray McCarthy, Arif Prianto, Fahriza Kamaputra, Jessica Kholinne, & Gloria Caeli

Unnecessarily long post, but...

My sister always ridicules me because I cry EVERY time I see/read the scene of Dumbledore’s death in Half-Blood Prince. What she doesn’t understand is that I have a strong fondness for that character not only for his individual properties and merits, which are amazing on their own, but because I’ve always associated him with our great-grandfather, Vicente “Papá Pastor” Morales, who died when I was 9 years old. Let me tell you more about this great man.

Papá Pastor was born in an underpoverished barrio in Puerto Rico. From an early age he had to work to help support his family, but not once did he complain. He would carry younger kids on his back to help them cross the river, doing so barefooted because he didn’t have shoes back then. Also, since he was one of the few literate people in his neighborhood, he took it upon himself to read newspapers to the elderly and teach younger kids how to read. It was then that he found his passion in education, a fondness he passed on to me.

Papá Pastor married the love his life, Severina “Tatá” Morales when they were quite young (she was merely 15), and then he became a reverend. A brilliant man, he was very firm in his conviction in God, but he never asserted dominance in his faith over others’; instead, he welcomed diversity and loved studying other religions and cultures, something I, a nonbeliever, have acquired. Later on he funded several schools throughout the metropolitan area, but he took special care to one of them, which is where I was educated in elementary and middle school, where most of my immediate family works, and where my great-grandmother lives (they built their house inside the academy).

He became a beloved figure, admired by all of his students, and had many important connections. When he passed away due to a stroke, we had to extend funeral services to four days because people would not stop coming. Day and night, all types of people of all ages kept pouring in–politicians, academics, students…it was overwhelming; not unlike Dumbledore’s funeral service. The most beautiful touch? Students wore their school uniforms; that really tugged my heart. 

Well, a couple of years later I was going through a really rough time; everything seemed so meaningless. I couldn’t help but think that if he was still with me he could help me, and I got irrationally angry at him for leaving me alone. One of those nights that I cried myself to sleep I dreamed that I was in the hospital where he died, which is the same one I was born. I was walking around and suddenly I see him sitting on a bench, looking at him. Knowing him to be dead, I was shocked, but I approached him anyway. It felt just like that scene in Deathly Hallows where Harry is greeted by Dumbledore in what appeared to be King’s Cross Station. We talked about a myriad of things, laughed, and then we both went quiet. After what could have been a second or an eternity, I asked him something that had been eating me up: “Are you okay?” He just smiled and told me not to worry, that life goes on and we would meet again…and I smiled, he bid farewell, and everything went dark…but all was well.